Often, there’s nothing wrong about trying tips you hear or see on the internet. For instance, when it comes to gardening or residential pest control, heeding to other homeowners’ advice is good. But for parenting, many outdated pieces of conventional wisdom may do more harm than good.
Here are some outdated parenting tips that experts think you can skip or ignore:
Use baby walkers to help teach babies to move around
For decades, parents have been using baby walkers to teach babies to walk and move around. But the truth is that these go-to baby products can delay motor and mental development. They can also be dangerous as they make infants mobile enough to fall down the stairs or reach dangerous objects. It’s best to let babies learn their first steps on their own by creating a safe environment where they can do it.
Tell kids to finish all the food on their plate
While teaching kids about the value of frugality and the growing problem of food waste is good, scolding them to finish all the food on their plate even if they’re already full sends a wrong message.
Children need to recognize when they’re hungry or full and learn to eat accordingly. This way, they can develop healthy eating habits. Instead of pressuring them to “clean the plate,” use smaller plates to control portion sizes. Also, refrain from rewarding children for finishing their dinner with more food, such as desserts. Children will likely eat past their fullness if there’s a promise of sweet treats after the meal.
Negotiate with your child
In theory, negotiating with kids seems like a good idea as it would teach them patience and compromise. But Susan North, parent educator and author, said it could make children unhappy. She explained that as much as parents want their children to understand the reasons behind adults saying no, they may not succeed. Little kids don’t understand much about money, time, safety, and other themes of negotiating.
Moreover, engaging your kids as if they were your peers may send the message that they are your peers. That could lead to a host of other developmental issues. It’s better to show you’re in charge in a warm but firm way until your kids have a better grasp on the concept of negotiating and its various themes.
Bed-share with your kid
Letting your toddler snuggle with you in bed once in a while is OK, but experts don’t recommend doing it daily. Dr. Forrest Talley, a child psychologist, says bed-sharing with kids may harm the parents’ relationship as they miss out on a chance to reconnect after a hectic day at home or in the office.
Bed-sharing is also not great for children. They become more dependent rather than learning to be more physically, intellectually, and emotionally independent. But if you still prefer having your child nearby at night, consider co-sleeping. Your child can sleep in the same room but at a different bed.
Undoubtedly, there’s a pressure to be a great parent. Trying to raise a happy and confident child is easier than done. So, don’t feel bad if you opt out of the parenting techniques many others use. After all, like the examples mentioned above, not all parenting tips—even if many moms and dads follow them—are right.